Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.16 Last-Modified: 2000/08/01 Q. What is that? A. The fact that he never records in any of his diaries that he did and whenever he put suggestions to Hitler, then he records it in his diary. This is the subtle distinction. If you read all the diaries and not just one glowing ember which is thrust into your hands by one of your experts, when you are familiar with the entire diaries, then you know how to use them. Q. Which is how, Mr Irving? A. The way I just described to you. I would have been looking here for a passage where Goebbels then says, "I then put to the Fuhrer the proposal that we do, this, that and the other and Hitler agreed", but there is nothing of that. This is just Goebbels ranting on, happily coming back in the after glow of having sat with the Fuhrer, and once more the Fuhrer has put the gramaphone record on about the prophecy. . P-142 I mean, if I am an author of a book which has not got to be a two volume book, writing a book that is going to come down to a reasonable economic length, you have to make judgment calls on what you put in and what you take out. If something you are going to leave out does not really advance the argument one way or the other, then you leave it out. Q. But, you see, your omissions of the Goebbels' references to Hitler are the omissions of all those references which put Hitler in a bad light? A. Let me also put something in a legal sense. This entry can be held against Goebbels' evidence but not against Hitler, of course. Q. We are not conducting a legal enquiry when we are writing a history book, Mr Irving, are we? A. We are to a certain extent. The man, the people we are writing about are dead. They are entitled that we should marshal the same kind of criteria that we would in a court of law. We are looking at serious crimes that have been committed, indeed, the worst atrocities this last century. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I am about a quarter of the way with you. I think the fact it does not come from the horse's mouth reduces its weight, but it has weight nonetheless? A. Unquestionably it has weight, my Lord, but then you come up against the problems of the other weight, the weight of the tome you are writing; you are already facing a . P-143 problem. I have had to shorten the book already down from the 1977 edition by approximately one-third in order to put the first volume in as well, and you have those weight problems you have also have tempo problems. You do not want to bog the whole text down by repeating yet again with has been said elsewhere. The fact that Adolf Hitler had planned a radical solution for the Jewish problem, whatever he meant by that, has been spelt out innumerable times elsewhere in the book. What is far more interesting in this particular quotation, the real meat of this quotation is Dr Goebbels having learned somehow, presumably from an SS report, that what happened to the Jews in Lublin when they arrived, as I said, beggars all description, as a caption I have used, I believe, in the Goebbels' biography, where I quoted it at far greater length, my Lord. You will find I quoted it at far greater length in the Goebbels' biography because in the Goebbels' biography it is important. The material goes to what Goebbels' own knowledge was. Q. Will you forgive me, Mr Rampton, just to ask a couple of questions. If you look at that paragraph at the top of page 465, tell me if I am wrong, but it appears to me the point you are really conveying to readers there is that Goebbels did not discuss the disposal of the Jews or the realities of the disposal of the Jews ---- A. With Hitler? . P-144 Q. --- with Hitler and, secondly, that Hitler was still talking about getting the Jews right out of Europe. A. This is a very important point that I make, and he continues to say this ---- Q. But if you look -- just let me complete the point, then add whatever you like -- at what Goebbels' diary actually records, it includes the phrase "The Fuhrer is the persistent pioneer and spokesman of a radical solution which is demanded by the way things are and thus appears to be unavoidable"? A. Yes, but what is ---- Q. And Goebbels has referred earlier to only 40 per cent of the Jews being available for work, the rest being liquidated? A. In my submission, my Lord, the way I used this material was absolutely correct. I quoted the meat of the quotation from the diary, I quoted what we know from the diary about how far his conversation went with Hitler, but I certainly did not try to get cleaver in reading between the lines and suggesting that either he got this information from Hitler, which is most likely, he got it almost certainly in the form of a report, a so called esdebricht, the same as you have got the report from the Bunzig conference and so on; and that he then went to see Hitler and he sat basking in Hitler's glow for a while. They exchanged anti-Semitic remarks, but Goebbels did not . P-145 venture to put this material to him, and he came back to Berlin, dictated his diary reflecting, "Well, Hitler is after all the champion and protagonist of radical solutions, he is the one". But at the same time Hitler is, apparently, talking about pushing them out and the Madagascar solution, about pushing them out to Russia and that kind of thing. This is the discrepancy in the records that you are confronted with, as I say in the table talk passage that I insisted should be read out. This is a first person record taken by a qualified stenographer, Heinrich Heime, and the people who are present are the people who are actually conducting the massacre, Heinrich Himmler, and yet here is Hitler apparently saying something which is totally at variance with what is at that very moment happening. This is why it is so significant, my Lord, that how could, unless there is a lot of hypocrisy going on here, but for what purpose? These were Top Secret memoranda, taken down by Heinrich Heim, signed by Martin Bormann and then put in the files, the so- called table talk. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. A. You see, it is very easy to look at just one diary entry like the Goebbels' diary and mull backwards and forwards across that without realising that there is a lot of collateral evidence that reinforces the position one takes . P-146 and how one edits it, which is not necessarily perverse and certainly is not manipulation. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, it is difficult for me, without having had a response from you to our various reports -- it is not a criticism -- to know when I am looking at a particular Goebbels' diary entry whether you have read them or not as your reading seems per force to have been somewhat selective. That is not a criticism either. A. Mr Rampton, I have read the entire Goebbels' diaries as they were available on microfilm from left to right twice. Q. When? A. Once when they arrived in 1970, in other words, when I obtained them from the American archives, and once again when I wrote the Goebbels' biography in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Q. Sorry, I am not understanding, but I thought we had, unless I have gone completely mad, a discussion this morning about the entry for 13th December 1941? A. That was not available. I am talking about the Goebbels' diaries when they were available. The Goebbels' diaries only became available, well, they became available in several chunks over the last 50 years. Q. So this is one you had read? A. March 27th 1942? Q. Yes. A. Yes. . P-147 Q. I am going to have to ask you that question every time, you see, when we look at these entries. It is one you have read and you chose not to include the reference to Hitler being the leader and spokesman of the radical solution; instead, you included, if it was a question of space, the last sentence, in your words, "The Jews have nothing to laugh about now", did you not? You skipped right down ---- A. "The Jewry had nothing to laugh about" in Evans' words, yes. Very similar. Q. Yes. His translation is slightly better than yours -- -- A. Except it is less literate, less literary. Occasionally, when you make a translation for a book that will be published, you have to go for the literary rather than the wooden. This is a slightly more wooden translation. Q. This is not an important point, but it is dangerous, is it not? A. I try to avoid wooden translations for documents if I am writing a book for publication. I try to put a literal translation. With Goebbels, it becomes very difficult because his diaries are written in a vernacular -- a lot of slang put in them. Q. You do record fairly enough the diary entry of 20th March and the remark on 19th by Hitler -- I have it in here, it is at the bottom of page 464 -- "The Jews must get out of Europe. If need be, we must resort to the most brutal . P-148 methods", do you not? A. I cannot find it in the book. Q. I am so sorry. It is in the last paragraph on page 464. A. On March 19th he quoted in his diary, yes, that is right. OK. Q. Yes, only this remark. A. Yes. "We must resort to the most brutal methods". Q. In your first edition, you got the chronology wrong, did you not? A. It is possible, yes. Q. Yes, you did. You said that Dr Goebbels' meeting with Hitler on 20th came after that entry of the 27th which we have been looking at. A. It is possible. Q. That is not a criticism, it is a fact, so nobody should confuse themselves by looking at the 1977 edition. Then you go on: "That Goebbels privately knew more is plain" ---- A. Yes. Q. --- etc. What was the evidentiary foundation for the assertion that Goebbels plainly knew more? A. Privately knew more. Q. What? A. That he privately knew more. Q. Yes, than Hitler did. A. He quoted a remark by Hitler that the Jews must get out. . P-149 He privately knew more because the SD had sent to him, Goebbels, the report on whatever is going on that beggars all description, the killings at 40 per cent, 60 per cent. Q. Mr Irving, I am sorry about this. I am not trying to rewrite history; I do not have to. I am trying to put myself in the position of an historian who is writing an account of these dark days, and sees that Hitler on 19th when evidently he and Goebbels had had a meeting saying that the Jews must get out of -- I will get it right - - Europe. "If need be, we", that is the German government, "must resort to the most brutal methods ---- A. To get them out. Q. What is the most brutal way of getting somebody out, oustvotting somebody? A. No, it is not. It is being knocked up at 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning by Gestapo hammering on your door and saying, "You have got 15 minutes to pack and come down to a central collecting point and then you are going to be put on a train with the aforementioned three tonnes of bread". That is a brutal means of getting people out in any language. Q. It is a brutal means, but if we are going to be literal minded and go into the school room, we know that "most" is a superlative, do we not? A. Yes. Q. What is the most brutal means of removing people? . P-150 A. Most brutal means of getting people out? Using brute force, getting the Gestapo, dogs. Q. I am going to see if I can find what word is attributed to Hitler. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know where that diary entry is. MR RAMPTON: I do not either; that is the trouble. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure it is going to matter very much because Mr Irving is making the point that in the end we are talking of getting them out of Europe and not anything else, so it does not really matter what word is used. That is what you are saying, Mr Irving, is it not?
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